Christian Ministry

fruits of the spirit

Fruit of the Holy Spirit

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May 1998
What Is Our Emphasis?

Have you noticed that there seems to be an extraordinarily large emphasis on spiritual gifts today? You hardly ever hear anyone talking about spiritual fruit anymore. While I believe these spiritual gifts serve an important purpose in the Body of Christ, I want you to be equally (if not more) aware of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and how important it is to understand what God is doing in your very own life.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit manifesting His fruit in us is far more important than any spiritual gift. Many people continue to seek the power and manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit, but they do not place a priority on the call of every believer to a holy life. Our desire should be to earnestly seek "the Giver and not the gifts" then "all these things (Christ-like qualities) shall be added unto you"
(Matthew 6:33) through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of what anyone says, God still frowns on sin and has called us to be conformed to the image of His dear Son.

We must remember that gifts are given, but spiritual fruit is developed. The fruit of the Spirit (also known as our Spiritual Medicine Chest) comes to us when we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour; however, it only comes as a small seed which must be nurtured and developed in our lives (or watered) through prayer, by reading the Word, and by putting faith into action. If Christ is in us, then we should be Christlike. The fruit of the Spirit is the display of the character of Christ. It is His presence within us that enables us develop the spiritual fruit in our lives.

I find it quite fascinating that the Bible both begins and ends talking about fruit.
    "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man saying, 'Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat'..." --- Genesis 2:15-16
    "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
    Revelation 22:1-2

God's Divine Purpose

God's divine purpose for your life is for you to bear spiritual fruit. Your relationship to Jesus (Yeshua) is described in John 15:5 in this way, "He is the vine, and we are the branches."

Again in
John 15:16 the Bible declares, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you."

In order to bear this fruit, you must be planted and properly rooted spiritually:
    "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, taht bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper"
    (Psalm 1:1-3).

If you want to bear spiritual fruit, then you must reject sin, walk in holiness, and delight in God's law. You must also be planted in the house of God - connected to the Body of Christ.

Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to "forsake the assembling of ourselves together" and Psalm 92:13-14 tells us that:
    "Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing...".

A Supernatural Process

Bearing fruit is a supernatural process. Jesus produces the fruit and we bear it. The Father is the divine gardner who supervises the process:
    "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes or refines) it, that it may bring forth more fruit."
    --- John 15:1-2
The purging process is one that may Christians reject because when they go through difficulties in their lives they always think that the devil is attacking them. God prunes productive plants for the same reason a farmer prunes - to produce more fruit.

Jesus' parable of the barren tree in
Luke 13:6-9 illustrates how God works continually and patiently with the unproductive to produce fruit.
    "A certain young man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, 'Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it in the ground'? And he answering unto him, 'Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down'."

The Nine Fruit

The book of Galatians identifies the Christ-like qualities that God wants to produce in our lives: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." --- Galatians 5:22-23

Notice that the "fruit" of the Spirit is singular (not plural), for there is one fruit revealed in nine separate supernatural manifestations.

Peter wrote, "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ"
II Peter 1:8.

We are "filled with these fruits of righteousness only by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God." Ephesians 5:9

The 1st three fruit focus on your relationship with God.
The 2nd three fruit focus on your relationship with others.
The final three fruit focus directly on the individual.

Click on each fruit to find a detailed description plus scriptures discussing that particular fruit.

Love Joy Peace
Longsuffering Gentleness Goodness
Faith Meekness Temperance

Discerning One's Fruit

Believers beware! There are many people out there wearing sheep's clothing and are "prophesying" by using divination. These people may "appear" to be holy; have their Christian bumper sticker; and know all the right phrase like "Amen," "Hallelujah," "Glory to God," and "Praise the Lord!" but watch out -- they might just be ravening wolves.

As Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits," so watch them carefully. If these people display the fruit of the Holy Spirit, you can be assured that they are "good trees"; and if they don't, there is a good chance that they are "corrupt trees" in need of God's saving grace.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:15-20 and
Matthew 12:33 :
    "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

    "Either make the tree good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by his fruit."
Abounding Fruit

Believers can also produce spiritual fruit by cheerfully giving to various Christ-centered ministries such as ours. Paul reminded the Philippians to give, "Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account."

Your financial support results in fruit that abounds to thousands of men, women, and children from all over the world whose lives are being impacted by the liberating message of God's saving power!

Closing Statement

These nine manifestations of the fruit of the Holy Spirit will enable you to eliminate spiritual barrenness, to escape the corruption of the world, and to become partakers of the divine nature of God
II Peter 1:4-8. Therefore, keep developing the fruit of the Spirit and the character of Christ in your life. Not only will it cause you to grow spiritually, but it will be a powerful witness to unbelievers as well.

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This teaching was written by David Holt Boshart, Jr.
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